Apply for a Permit
Please be aware that City Hall is open to the public by appointment only. Please schedule an appointment for all building permit requests as all building permit requests need to be submitted in person with hard copy plans. Also, to facilitate the permit process, a completed building permit application is required to schedule an appointment.
To schedule an appointment at City Hall, view the link below:
2019 California Building Standards Code
The State of California adopts a set of new construction codes every three years referred to as the California Building Standards Code. The 2019 California Building Standards Code (2019 CBC) was adopted by the City of San Juan Capistrano City Council and went into effect on January 1, 2020. The adopted code includes:
- 2019 California Building Code Volumes 1 and 2
- 2019 California Mechanical Code
- 2019 California Electrical Code
- 2019 California Plumbing Code
- 2019 California Existing Buildings Code
- 2019 California Fire Code
- 2019 California Energy Code
- 2019 California Residential Building Code
- 2019 California Green Building Standards Code (PDF)
- 2019 California Historical Building Code
- San Juan Capistrano Municipal Code
Building Permits are required, with some exceptions, anytime a building or structure, electrical, plumbing or mechanical system, is to be erected, constructed, enlarged, altered, repaired, moved, improved, removed, converted or demolished. Additionally, there are outside organizations, listed below, that may require an associated permit or review in conjunction with the City's building permit.
HOA / CC&R
Construction projects taking place within a Homeowners Association (HOA) or other governing body that impact any portion of the exterior (including windows and doors) must be approved in writing prior to permit issuance. A copy of the HOA Approval letter or HOA stamped plans must be provided prior to or at permit issuance.
Applying for a Permit
- City Hall is currently open by appointment only
- All permit applications and plans must be submitted as hard copy in person
- The City does not accept permit submittals or plans via mail or courier
- Plan check fees are calculated and due at time of submittal. Please contact Finance at 949-487-4300 for acceptable forms of payment
- The City does not offer expedited plan review
- Projects that require OCFA review will need to be submitted directly to OCFA for concurrent review with the City. The City does not route plans to OCFA
View Plan Check Submittal Requirements (PDF) for submittal requirements and additional information.
For accessory dwelling units (ADUs), please see Title Sheet Template (PDF) requirement located under Forms and Guidelines.
A completed Building Permit Application (PDF) along with OCFA residential or commercial checklist is required for all permit submittals.
- The plan size requirement is 24 inches by 36 inches
- All plan sheets must be the same size and stapled into complete sets
- No hand-written notes will be accepted
- Plans that do not meet the size requirements will not be accepted into plan check
New construction/grading projects require advance fee calculations and an appointment. Please email the Building Division for additional information regarding new construction submittals.
Revisions to Issued Permit
Any modifications or revisions to an approved set of plans that have been issued a permit will require re-review and approval.
Please complete a Revision Application (PDF) and submit (2) stapled copies of only the affected sheets for revision review. If the changes affect the exterior or footprint, then (3) stapled copies of the affected sheets are required.
- Please do not submit an entire set of plans for a revision
- All changes must be clouded and a narrative of changes must be included with your revision submittal
- Plan size requirements are 24" x 36"
- All revised plan sheets, including engineering, must be the same size and stapled into sets
- No hand written notes will be accepted
A separate permit for demolition is only required on demolition of whole buildings/structures or projects where the applicant would like to begin demolition prior to the approval of a residential remodel or commercial tenant improvement.
- For small demolition projects, such as residential remodels or commercial tenant improvements, please fill out the Building Permit Application (PDF) and submit (3) sets of plans for plan check submittal.
- For large demolition projects, such as the demolition of an existing structure or a whole building demo, please fill out the Building Permit Application (PDF) and email the Building Division.
Please see Plan Check Submittal Requirements (PDF) for additional submittal requirements and general information.
Grading / Site Improvement Permits
All projects involving grading and visible site improvements must first be approved by the Planning Department. Title 9 of the San Juan Capistrano Municipal Code outlines land use.
- After planning approval has been obtained, a completed Grading Permit Application (PDF) and engineer's cost estimate must be sent via email to Madison Lascalza for advanced plan check fee calculation
- Once plan check fees have been calculated for your project, an email will be sent to the applicant containing instructions/requirements for first submittal along with the invoice
- First submittals for grading projects require an appointment with the Building Counter
View grading and site improvements for more details.
All plan check and permit fees can be found in the City Fee Schedule.
- Plan check fees are calculated and due at time of submittal.
- Permit fees are calculated after plans have been approved and stamped by all departments. An invoice along with any outstanding requirements is sent to the applicant on file once a permit is ready for permit issuance.
The city does not provide fee estimates or advanced fee calculations. Fees are formula based and include state fees that are derived from permit application information and approved plans.
Outside Agency Permitting Requirements
- CA Department of Housing and Community Development - Manufactured and Mobile Homes
- CA Occupational Safety and Health (CalOSHA)
- CA State Contractors License Board
- CA State Water Resources Control Board - Construction Stormwater Program
- Dig Alert
- Orange County Fire Authority
- Orange County Health Department
- Orange County Public Works - Watershed Division
- San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E)
- Santa Margarita Water District (SMWD)
- SoCal Gas
- South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD)
- Transportation Corridor Agency - Development Fee Program